Lost application file

I seemed to be filling up my HD memory by dragging in whole folders to DT. I thought maybe I am duplicating. I trashed a small folder and it remained in my documents file, so I assumed that I was duplicating files.

I had already dragged in my application folder before I thought that I was filling up my hard disc. Since the other folder was not affected, I trashed it when I decided that I must be duplicating files. The application files have not disappeared, but the logos for each application has. :frowning: I can use laucher utility that comes with the Mac to get at applications, but this is not a good thing. Is there anything I can do to improve this situation?


Its hard to know where to start because you seem to a) misunderstand the purpose of DT and b) not understand the difference between applications and files or how the filesystem works. I don’t mean to be at all condescending because we have all been there at one point and at first it can seem very strange but you clearly need more assistance than its possible to offer here.

a) DT is an application for managing files, mostly word documents, pdf, text documents and similar. Its quite a specialist app for people who want to manage a lot of documents, mark them up, order them and refer to them. Its used by people like researchers, attorneys and people who want to go paperless managing receipts, contracts, bills and the like.

b) Applications are the programs on your computer, Microsoft Word, iPhoto, Calendar and so on. They live in the applications folder and should always stay there untouched (except when you want to delete them altogether when you can drag them to the trashcan). Applications moved from the applications folder can become unstable.

It seems as if you have dragged all the programs from your applications folder into Devonthink. This is a very bad idea and you need to put them back, Dragging the applications out of DT back into the applications folder should restore them to their rightful place and you will see there icons back in the application folder.

Honestly I would suggest you find someone with a little more experience to guide you and hold your hand. I know my local apple store runs free basic introductions classes several nights a week. It might also be worth looking for a Mac User Group in your area.

Good luck,

I try to discourage views of DEVONthink as a replacement for the Finder. That isn’t the best use of DEVONthink. For example, there’s no added utility at all that might be gained by trying to put application files into a DEVONthink database.

Keep application files in the Applications folder and launch them from that location.

I’m a heavy user of DEVONthink for record keeping and for research and writing. I create DEVONthink Pro Office databases that meet specific needs and interests. I capture relevant files to those databases, but I’ve got many files on my Macs that will never be placed into a DEVONthink database, either because I’ve got no relevant interest in their content, or they wouldn’t add value to any database, or they are already well managed in another database application (like my photos and music).

Avoid filling up a hard drive, as that can cause problems including slowdowns or even data loss.

There are two capture modes for DEVONthink. IMPORT copies files into a database and they are stored within the database. INDEX indexes the text content of files int a database, but the files themselves are not copied, and remain external to the database. Either capture mode can be appropriate, depending on the user’s workflows and preference. In my case, I prefer self-contained databases, so I use the IMPORT capture mode for most files. In that case, after capturing content from the Finder I will delete the captured files from the Finder, or archive them to an external drive. That avoids duplication of files on my computer (of course, my databases are backed up to prevent loss of information). Obviously, INDEX capture also avoids duplication of files.

The reason why I copied what I saw someone else had on her picture of files that she had into imported (which is the same as dragging and dropping? Anyway, that mistake was fixed. I found the copy of the application folder elsewhere on my computer. So that mistake is solved. But the more basic problem of learning to use the program is not.

Thank-you for your comments.